Choosing The Right First Aid Kit


British Standard Compliant First Aid Kits

Complying with BS 8599-1, Workplace First Aid Kits:

recognizing the need to ensure that current workplace first aid provision is adequate and appropriate The British Healthcare Trade Association worked with the British Standards Institute (BSI), to create a British Standard for first aid kits in the workplace.  

These enhanced kits are referred to by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in their latest First Aid at Work - Guidance on regulations. The HSE states that ‘Employers may wish to refer to British Standard BS 8599 which provides further information on the contents of Workplace First Aid Kits’.The contents of these kits take into account more modern and functional products encompassing a wider range of common workplace risks and are therefore more comprehensive than the previous HSE compliant kits.

BS 8599-1 is the standard that sets the new minimum level that workplace first aid kits should conform to.

The BS8599-1 standards give recommendations on the amount and size of the first aid kits necessary for the different workplace environments based on the category of risk and number of employees in the workplace. 

Should the risk or numbers of employees deem it necessary the minimum contents, as set out in the standard, can be supplemented by additional items appropriate to the hazards identified by the risk assessment. This may result for example in increasing the number of burn dressings where a significant risk of a burn injury is likely.

What size kit do I need?

The size of the kit required is dependent on a combination of the level of risk and the number of employees in the workplace. The table below provides guidance for employers but does not replace the requirement to carry out a risk assessment. 

This table is for guidance only and each workplace needs to evaluate its own level of risk.

Special circumstances also need to be considered such as remoteness from medical services, special hazards such as the use of hydrofluoric acid and sites with several buildings. In these situations there may need to be more first aid kits than set out in the table

British Standard Compliant First Aid Kit Contents & Re-Order Codes

The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 states:

‘The contents of first-aid containers should be examined frequently and restocked soon after use.

Sufficient supplies should be held in stock on site.’ (Paragraph 38)

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